While Colorado is known twister country, common wisdom has always held that tornadoes do not occur in the high reaches of the Rockies. The mountains may throw down violent, tornado-spawning weather to the plains, but one is safe from such cyclonic phenomena at big altitude.
While rare, back-to-back summer tornado appearances on two of Colorado’s most famous 14’ers show that twisters can happen anywhere the elements conspire. This summer’s Pikes Peak tornado was captured by numerous video and photo images.
And last summer, a twister was spotted at about 12,000 feet on Mount Evans.
So much for common wisdom.
I-News at Rocky Mountain PBS, in a report on Colorado’s turbulent history with tornadoes, found that while tornadoes aren’t generally as powerful here as they are in Great Plains states like Kansas and Oklahoma, they have been numerous, and occasionally deadly.